Thursday, December 1, 2016

Daniel Larison — The Trouble with Mattis

It's Mad Dog.
The problem here isn’t that [Gen. James "Mad Dog"] Mattis is a bad choice for running our endless wars in the Near East compared to the alternatives, but that choosing him confirms that those wars are going to continue for the foreseeable future and new ones might be started. One problem I see with Mattis’ preoccupation with Iran is that it means that alarmist claims about Iran from other members of the ad ministration aren’t going to be countered by a more realistic assessment of the threat that Iran poses. Mattis is on record saying that Iran is the “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East” and has asserted that “Iran is not an enemy of ISIS.” The first claim is very questionable in light of the destabilizing behavior of the Saudis and their GCC allies, and the second is plainly false.
But at least Mad Dog is better than some other names that were floating.
I would be even more alarmed by the nomination of a Jon Kyl or Tom Cotton to this office.
Again, we are stuck with the least bad.

The American Conservative
The Trouble with Mattis
Daniel Larison

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